During my tenth summer I spent a whole lot of time at my grandmother's house that was perched over Swan Lake on the outskirts of Victoria.
And while there I was often glued to the TeeVee watching Wally Schirra and Mr. Cronkite show us pictures and tell us stories about the moonshot.
When I was instead at home that summer I mostly hid out in my bedroom closet, which had been converted into the inside of lunar excursion module, with levers and buttons and Apollo 11 mission checklists and everything.
All of which were homemade except for the spiral bound book of checklists filled of 'flip-that-switch' and 'hit-that-button' commands that seemed to go on and on forever.
Who knew that those checklists and, especially, the computer programs that drove them, were the work of a team of MIT software engineers led by a young woman named Margaret Hamilton, pictured above with the a big pile of the original script.
It turns out that Ms. Hamilton was actually a pioneer in a field filled with women that the rest of engineering field at first refused to recognize:
..."I began to use the term 'software engineering' to distinguish it from hardware and other kinds of engineering," Hamilton told Verne's Jaime Rubio Hancock in an interview. "When I first started using this phrase, it was considered to be quite amusing. It was an ongoing joke for a long time. They liked to kid me about my radical ideas. Software eventually and necessarily gained the same respect as any other discipline."...
I also remember one conversation involving ol' Spam-In-A-Can Wally in which he described all the crazy things that would be different by the time the millenium flipped over in the year 2000...The details are hazy but I distinctly recall being flummoxed not by Jetsons-like flying cars but instead by the realization that I would be an ancient 41 years old by that time....I mean, to think of being that ancient at the age of ten was truly inconceivable...Now?...Well, early forties seems like a young man's game to me now...Selah.